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Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster is the real star of the first 'Thor: Ragnarok' photos

Why it matters to you

New photos provide our first look at many of the new and returning characters from Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel Studios' upcoming, much-anticipated sequel film.

Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters in November, so it makes sense that the studio is starting to offer the public its first look at the third installment of the series that casts Chris Hemsworth as the titular God of Thunder.

However, it isn’t Hemsworth’s Thor that’s generating the lion’s share of buzz regarding the new Ragnarok photos — even though Thor appears to have a fancy new haircut. It’s Jeff Goldblum’s appearance as the cosmic gamekeeper known as The Grandmaster that has everyone talking.

The photos debuted on Entertainment Weekly and feature the first look at Goldblum’s character, as well as two other franchise newcomers — Cate Blanchett and Tessa Thompson, who play the evil Hela and the heroic Valkyrie, respectively.

Also appearing in the photos are Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as the trickster god Loki, and Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner (the Hulk’s less-intimidating, less-green alter ego).

Still, it’s Goldblum’s appearance as The Grandmaster that everyone is buzzing about, due mainly to the crazy hair and bright colors — with the latter being a familiar element of director Taika Waititi’s films. In Marvel Comics lore, The Grandmaster is one of the immortal “Elders of the Universe,” who is obsessed with games of chance and skill, and often devises ways to pit characters against each other in stories.

Given that a central plot element in Ragnarok seems to involve Thor competing in a gladiatorial competition — possibly against Hulk — the presence of The Grandmaster makes sense.

Directed by Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople), Thor: Ragnarok also stars Idris Elba as Heimdall, Sir Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and Karl Urban as Skurge.

More photos are available on the Entertainment Weekly website.

Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters November 3, 2017.